Archive for the 'Christianity' category

Be There

 | June 9, 2009 6:03 PM

pistol-pete First I did not know Pete Maravich was Christian.  Second I love what James Dobson told his son after Pete Maravich died in James Dobson’s arms.

And then he shared what amounted to a living will, if you will. He said, “Pete Maravich didn’t have an opportunity to speak with his family one last time. But I want to tell you, be there. On resurrection morning, be there. I will be looking for you then. Nothing else matters. Be there.”

Be There | Evotional.com.

Be there my family and friends.  I’ll be looking for all of you on resurrection morning.  Praise God we can look forward to that day.

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Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy

In those pre-Fall days, after all, animals were off the Garden menu:

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.  Genesis 1:28

In the very next breath man is told to keep his mitts off the critters (and vice versa) and be content with the herbs and the fruit of the trees:

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.  Genesis 1:29

If any passage in Scripture lends credibility to the writers, it is this, for of course they were not themselves vegetarians.  The alternative vision must simply have seemed inconceivable – a world in which it actually pleased our Maker to see His creatures stalking and slaying and absorbing one another.  The Catholic “meatless Friday” … came to us … from this same idea of predation as a consequence of the Fall and corruption of the world, as does the “grace” before meals.  Indeed there was a time when Christians fasted from animal products throughout all forty days of Lent…

The next step seems obvious to me.  If sanctity is the goal, and the flesh-eating a mark of the Fall, the one is to be sought and the other to be avoided.  Why just say grace when you can show it?  …. I am betting that in the Book of Life “He had mercy on the creatures” is going to count for more than “He ate well.”

Matthew Scully, Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy , pp. 44-45.

Mr. Scully, like Mr. Webb in On God and Dogs, argues that vegetarianism is an ideal that Christians should seek.  And I think that slowly Christians are starting to listen.

Pastor Greg Boyd, senior pastor of the evangelical megachurch, Woodland Hills Church, blogged a year ago about the five reasons he became a vegetarian.

  1. God Told Me To
  2. Increasing the Capacity to Love
  3. Seeing the Sacred Beauty in All Living Things
  4. The First Fruits of the Coming Non-Violent (and thus, non-carnivorous) Creation
  5. Compassionate Dominion and the Factory Farm Industry

Of the five of these, increasing the capacity to love appealed to me the most.  It might have been coincidental but I remember that at the moment I made a decision to reduce my consumption of meat I found myself forgiving certain people that up to that point I could not completely forgive.  Greg Boyd mirrors this experience in his own life.

Almost immediately after making this pledge I began to understand why the Lord had wanted me to make it. Scripture says a little yeast leavens all the dough (1 Cor 5:6). Well, I discovered that the little yeast of my willingness to engage in violence towards animals and other creatures for self-serving reasons (e.g. appetite, convenience) was polluting my heart and to some degree compromising my capacity to love. It felt like – and still feels like – my commitment to total non-violence has had, and is yet having, a purifying effect on my heart.

Along the same lines, my commitment to purge violence completely from my life has increased my sensitivity to the ugliness of violence, both in my own heart and in the world…  I have found that my commitment to non-violence has helped me wake up to all of the violence I have in my thoughts and speech, which in turn has helped me get free from this ugly violence. And this, in turn, has deepened my capacity for love.

Five years ago I never dreamed there was a connection between eating meat, anger in the heart and my ability to love. But for me at least, there definitely was. A little yeast leavens all the dough.

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wild-goose-chaseJohn March recommended Wild Goose Chase so I picked it up from the library.  Basically I do whatever he says, I’m just a puppet. :-)

The Wild Goose is the Holy Spirit and the chase is pursuing “the Spirit’s leading through life.”

At the end of each chapter are a series of questions.  I thought I would blog my answers to these questions until it becomes too personal. :-)  (Update: Please note that I have decided to make all the other Wild Goose Chase posts protected.  You will need to be registered and logged in to see them.)

The first chapter is named “Yawning Angels” because the author, Mark Batterson, wonders if angels have the capacity to get bored and if they did would our guardian angels yawn as they view our safe lives.

What’s your reaction to the Celtic description of God as the “Wild goose” – untamed, unpredictable, flying free?
I like it.  It reminds me that the Holy Spirit is about adventure, leaving your comfort zone.  But sometimes this illustration can be misleading, as my friend Amy reminded me, because in the end it’s really the Holy Spirit pursuing us, trying to get us to follow Christ.  Also a wild goose chase is a “purposeless endeavor without a defined destination” but as the author points out, with the Holy Spirit it “sometimes seems hopeless, but rest assured, God is working his plan.”

How have you been living “inverted Christianity,” trying to get God to serve your purposes instead of you serving His purposes?
Was there another way? ;-)

Right now, where are you on this spectrum?
wild-see-saw
I am pretty far right on the playing it safe spectrum.  I can’t really think of any risks I’m taking for God.

How does this call to spiritual adventure strike you?  What is it inside you that resonates with that call?
Well, I always liked the Stephen Curtis Chapman song “The Great Adventure.”  Seriously adventure is always appealing especially when you don’t consider the costs and risks.  But then you end up playing it safe.

Of the six cages described at the end of the chapter, which do you think might apply to you the most and why?
The six cages are the following.

  1. cage of responsibility
  2. cage of routine
  3. cage of assumptions
  4. cage of guilt
  5. cage of failure
  6. cage of fear

I think the cage that applies to me the most is the cage of assumptions.  I’m too old.  It’s too late.  I have three young children so I can’t do anything beyond the norm. The cage of responsibility also applies to me too.

What is your cage?

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